Art Meets Fashion at Barneys Windows

Helmut Lang's artistic recreation of the five front-row seats at his final fashion show

New York—Want a side of art with your fashion? Check out Barneys New York’s Madison Avenue windows, which has been transformed into an art exhibition organized with DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, based in Athens, Greece.

Unlike typical retail windows, nothing shown here will be for sale. In fact, there isn’t any fashion shown at all. It’s pure art… inspired by fashion. The show presents five installation projects by prominent artists who have been exploring the relationship between art and fashion for the Foundation. The show runs through July 4.

The Foundation’s concept has one art “curator” per year interpreting five iconic fashion pieces into five art pieces (visual, verbal, etc.). The Foundation then acquires the resulting five-piece capsule collection.

M/M's mechanically moving accessories sketches

The five participating artists and their word are:

  • M/M (Michael Amzalag and Mathias Augustyniak) Paris: Sketches of Fall 2007 accessories by Comme des Garçons, Marc Jacobs and Balenciaga play peek-a-boo with mechanical movements.
  • Art and fashion photographer Juergen Teller: A billboard-like portrait of Yves Saint Laurent—with a mad-scientist gleam in his eyes;
  • Austrian fashion designer Helmut Lang: A replica of five front-row seats from his final fashion show;
  • Poet Patrizia Cavalli: A spoken word and computer-printed musing on an iconic Viktor & Rolf dress;
  • Greek filmmaker Athina Rachel Tsangari: A black-and-white film with a 3-D effect;

Athina Rachel Tsangari’s film (featuring actress Clémence Poésy) gets a 3-D effect with a mirrored lattice

“We are excited and honored that DESTE Foundation has chosen Barneys as the venue for the first American presentation of destefashioncollection,” said Dennis Freedman. “From the moment I first saw [founder] Dakis Joannou’s extraordinary art collection and explored the programs of his Foundation, I dreamed that we might work together someday. Now that dream has come true.”

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Lauren Parker, Accessories Magazine

Lauren Parker, Editor-in-Chief, Accessories Magazine &
As Editor-in-Chief of Accessories for the past 14 years, Lauren Parker has covered women's fashion accessories both from a retail business perspective and a fashion point of view. She frequently judges industry design competitions and loves seeing the next generation of designers come into their own. In previous full-time magazine jobs and freelance gigs, she’s written about practically every angle of fashion lifestyle living, including women's fashion accessories, fine jewelry, Caribbean travel, private jets, Hampton’s real estate, the New York art scene, the bridal industry, men’s lifestyle and being a mom. She loves meeting designers and seeing how their latest offerings capture the current zeitgeist and fit into the entire cultural and social picture.